Best Shaving Kits of 2021

This Article May Contain Affiliate Links

In A Hurry? Our Top Picks:

  1. Best Overall: Ultimate Shaving Kit by Maison Lambert
  2. Best Safety Razor Kit: Parker 29L Safety Razor Shave Set
  3. Best Premium Cartridge Razor Set: Edwin Jagger Shaving Gift Set Review
  4. Best for Travel: Harry’s Deluxe Travel Shaving Starter Kit

Whether you are looking for a gift or for yourself, a shaving kit can make for an excellent purchase. In fact, some of the best shaving kits available can be an absolute steal when compared to purchasing each component separately.

In this guide, we will review the most popular shave kits currently available. In addition to our reviews, we will also share with you some key features to look out for when making your selection.

Why We Are Qualified To Recommend The Best Shaving Kit For You

When it comes to shaving, we have spent countless hours researching every single facet of the shaving process.

From breaking down the comparisons of a cartridge razor to a safety razor to reviewing countless products like aftershave balms, shaving creams, shaving soaps, shaving brushes, individual cartridge razors, and safety razors.

Even if you want to know the best razor for shaving your head completely bald, we have even covered that too!

Therefore with the reviews below, we want to make sure we keep our reputation of serving men with the absolute best shaving kit that will fit your needs now and into the future.

Reviews of The Best Shaving Kits

After much extensive research, we are breaking down each of the shaving kits outlined below to help you distill which shaving kit will provide the greatest value for you and serve you the best over the long term.

Furthermore we break out each section of shaving kits into distinct categories (cartridge razors, beginner double edge safety razor sets, etc).

Best Shaving Kits That Include Cartridge Razors

Here are some of the best cartridge razor shaving sets that you can buy today.  These sets contain all the essentials (i.e. razor, brush, and stand).

1. Edwin Jagger Shaving Gift Set Review

Top Award: Best Premium Cartridge Razor Set

Best Features:

  • Each of the included shave tools are well made.
  • Includes presentation box.
  • Comes with a stand keeps countertop organized.

Best For:

Men who want a cartridge razor shave kit that performs well and has high-end finishes.

Summary:

There is no doubt about the quality behind the shaving supplies that Edwin Jagger makes for men around the world.  From their double edge safety razors and beyond, they are a market leader when it comes to shaving equipment, and this shaving kit is no different.

  • A well-made stand with easy organization

This nickel-plated stand will look both smart and sophisticated without being too overbearing when resting on your countertop. The three-piece stand allows for your cartridge razor, shave brush, and shaving bowl to rest side-by-side without getting too overly complicated.

  • Relies on a time-tested cartridge razor system

The weight of the razor handle is well-balanced with makes for a much nicer shave experience.  When replacing cartridges for this razor you can use both the Gillette Mach 3 and Mach 3 Turbo razors – unfortunately, it’s not compatible with the newer Gillette Fusion (5 blades) razors.

  • Decent shave brush can generate a nice lather

The faux ebony shave brush handle is the perfect length for allowing both speed and control when whipping up shaving cream.  The bristles on this particular brush are made from pure badger hair and will adequately get the job done.

Other Key Features:

  • Shaving Bowl: allows you to easily whip up a lather and keep the bowl in place.
  • Future Proof Stand Design: Allows you to swap out with a double edge safety razor or other cartridge razor systems.

Pros

  • High-end finishes
  • Great for gift giving
  • Complete kit

Cons

  • A bit pricey

What You Need To Know

Overall this is a terrific kit that makes for an excellent gift to yourself or anyone else for that manner.  It comes packaged in a sleek black box that emits a classy look and is great for gift giving.

2. Harry’s Deluxe Travel Shaving Starter Kit

Top Award: Best Travel Shaving Kit

Best Features:

  • All items are TSA-Friendly sizes
  • Comes with a small dopp kit to keep your shaving gear organized
  • Priced incredibly low

Best For:

Men who are looking for a compact shave kit to bring with them on their travels.

Summary:

There is no denying that Harry’s razors present incredibly well.  From the design of the razor to the slick packaging, they are the go-to company when it comes to gift-giving.  While we found that their razor wasn’t the absolute best (read more here) – it does do a fine job of being a disposable razor – and why we think this shave kit is perfect for men on the go.

  • This shaving kit includes all the essentials

What we really like about this shaving kit from Harry’s is that it includes all the essentials in order to get you on your way.  In the kit you will receive the following:

  • Shave Gel (2oz)
  • Post Shave Balm (1.7oz)
  • Body Wash (2oz)
  • Razor with Travel Cover
  • Mini Dopp Kit

Whether you are roughing it in the woods are going to a boardroom meeting, all the products listed above will be enough to make sure you look in tip-top shape.  The travel cover features a minimalist design, and won’t take up much bulk while protecting the razor blades.

Furthermore, the dopp kit is incredibly small – which can be good enough for most men.  If you don’t have too many steps in your grooming regimen and only require the basics, then the small size will be preferred.  Also, it won’t take up much room in your gym bag or carry-on luggage.

  • Cancel any time subscription service without any ‘gotchas’

One of the main benefits of Harry’s is that they will deliver replacement blades directly to your doorstep every month.  Whether you are using this shave kit just for travel purposes or for personal use, you can start and stop the service on your own schedule.  You won’t ever have to worry about sending an email or talking to someone to make changes – it’s a small detail, but one that will prevent any annoyances down the road.

Other Important Features:

  • Harry’s also makes other key grooming products including face wash, face lotion, body lotion, and more
  • Razor handle comes in 4 modern colors and can be engraved
  • Can customize the body wash scent to your liking
  • Dopp kit has a water-resistant design that won’t get ruined easily

Pros

  • Has everything you need to get an adequate shave on the road
  • Well-made dopp kit can withstand a ton of abuse
  • Easy to manage subscription service

Cons

  • Razor can be a bit rough on sensitive skin

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for a great shave kit for travel use, then the Harry’s Deluxe Travel Shaving Kit is among the best out there.  The small and simple design makes it perfect for extended travels.

3. Gillette ProShield Fusion Razor Bundle

Top Award: Best Shaving Kit for Beginners

Best Features:

  • Contains the newest ProShield razor from Gillette
  • Includes 4 razor blades
  • Sensitive skin shave cream provides a comfortable shave

Best For:

Young men who are shaving for the very first time.

Summary:

If you are shaving for the very first time in your life and are overwhelmed with the number of razors available, we think that the Gillette ProShield Fusion is a great choice to start out with, here’s why:

  • You likely will not cut yourself at all

While you can spend countless hours watching YouTube videos or listening to your dad on proper shave technique, once you bring the razor to your skin for the very first time – all that knowledge will quickly fly out the window and instincts take over.  While the fear of cutting yourself is likely always sitting in the back of your mind, improvements in razor blades over the years have made cutting yourself nearly impossible.  

With this beginner-friendly shave kit by Gillette, we think it is perfect for first-time shavers as the ProShield has an extra-large lubricating strip on the top and bottom of the razor head which will help to push the skin flat down and provide a smoother shave while also lubricating the skin to prevent irritation.  

  • Flexball head allows for all body grooming

While the focus of this guide is on face shaving kits, the Flexball head on this razor will bend with the contours of your skin.  So whether you are shaving your face, chest, or elsewhere, this razor is extremely versatile.

  • Shave cream for sensitive skin

It’s always important to remember that shaving is brutal on your skin.  Therefore having a quality shave cream or shave gel is important.  While the Gillette shave cream included is fairly standard, it will help to soften your coarse facial hair and help to reduce razor burn.

Other Important Features:

  • The ProShield head can be swapped out with other Fusion blades
  • Replacement blades can be purchased in bulk and are much more affordable
  • Comes in a box which can be wrapped for gift-giving

Pros

  • Great razor for beginners that is really forgiving
  • Lubricating strips increase shave comfort
  • Flexball head makes it great for body grooming as well

Cons

  • No extras included

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for a beginner’s shave kit and are overwhelmed with all the razors available, this kit by Gillette should be at the top of your consideration list.  It has the essentials and should provide a satisfactory shave.

4. Acrimax Premium Shaving Kit for Men Review

Best Features:

  • Includes all the essentials
  • Quality cartridge razor built to last
  • High end finishes on all shave tools

Best For:

Young men looking for a nice introduction into the world of shaving.

Summary:

This chrome-plated shaving set is a terrific shaving set for any man that is at the beginning of their shaving journey.  If you are looking for a gift for a teenager or just are simply looking to upgrade your bathroom countertop decor this entry-level shaving kit simply gets the job done.

  • Weighted stand firmly holds all shave supplies

The included stand is chrome plated and should be able to last for several years.  The swooping design allows for all the included supplies to hang in tandem allowing for a clean and sanitary environment.

The universal fittings on this stand will allow for many double edge safety razors and shaving brushes to fit within the slot should you ever decide to upgrade at any point down the road.

  • Relies on a time tested cartridge razor

The cartridge razor that comes included in this shaving set will work for the first few shaves, however, you will have to buy replacements.  Fortunately, Gillette Mach 3 cartridge heads as they will fit perfectly into the handle.

  • Good, not great shaving brush

The shaving brush is made from pure badger hair – the lowest grade of badger hair. While not noteworthy, the brush should still make a sufficient lather.

Other Key Features:

  • Includes a deep chrome shave bowl.
  • Available in a few different varieties.

Pros

  • Time-tested cartridge razor system
  • High-end design details
  • Makes a great gift

Cons

  • Shave brush may need to get replaced after extended use

What You Need To Know

This shave kit looks nice and will make a great gift. With the sleek chrome details, it will look great on any bathroom countertop.

Best Beginner Double Edge Safety Razor Kits

Here are some affordable yet high performing double edge safety razor kits that are great for men who are looking to start their journey in to the wet shaving world:

5. Bevel Safety Razor Shave Kit for Men

Top Award: Best Safety Razor Kit for Beginners

Best Features:

  • Includes all the essentials you need to get started with traditional wet shaving
  • Beautifully designed razor looks great on the counter
  • Comes in a nice presentation box for gift-giving (i.e. Fathers Day, Christmas, Birthdays, etc.)

Best For:

Men who are looking to start wet shaving for the very first time and need all the essentials.

Summary:

Whether you are trying out wet shaving for the first time or you are looking for the perfect present for that lucky guy in your life, the Bevel Shave Safety Razor Shave Kit is the perfect way to start, here’s why:

  • All the basics are covered for a complete grooming routine

From the initial priming oil application to finishing off the shave with the alcohol-free restoring balm, we loved that Bevel didn’t skip on any the steps when it came to traditional shaving.  

Included in this starter kit you will find the following:

  • Safety Razor
  • Shave Brush
  • Priming Oil (Pre-Shave Oil)
  • Shave Cream
  • Restoring Balm (Aftershave Balm)
  • 20 Blades

When using all of these products in tandem, you will generate a great shave experience that will make you want to come back for more.  You can expect the priming oil to help soften any coarse whiskers on your face, the shave cream to generate a nice slick lather, and the aftershave balm to help soothe your skin and add back any moisture you may have lost along the way.

But one area that we loved, in particular, is the inclusion of a shave brush.  All too often men skip on this tool as they think of it solely as a vanity product, however, the results are quite the contrary.  You can expect to get a richer and thicker lather that equates to a smoother shave with less tugging and pulling.

As for the razor itself, its a beautifully crafted brass weighted safety razor.  With a clean and minimalist design, it provides a great bit of heft and will feel comfortable in your hand.

Lastly, this starter kit comes with 20 blades.  With an average lifespan of about 5 shaves each, you can expect this to last you for several months before you need to refill.

  • Designed for men with thick or coarse facial hair

If you have naturally thick and coarse facial hair, the Bevel Shave Kit will be a game-changer.  Able to cut the hair down to the surface of the skin, this razor will greatly reduce (and maybe even eliminate) any razor bumps along your neck.  It’s able to do this thanks to the unique blade cutting system that is shared among most safety razors.

Other Important Features:

  • Shave cream contains aloe vera for additional relief
  • The modest price tag makes it a great pick for men of just about any budget
  • Bevel makes a wide variety of men’s grooming products that are also worth trying

Read the in-depth razor review.

Pros

  • It’s a complete shave system that should generate great results
  • Will leave your skin feeling smooth and soft
  • No longer have to rely on expensive blade cartridges
  • Restoring balm also functions as a moisturizer

Cons

  • Does have a learning curve in order to get perfect results

What You Need To Know

If you are serious about getting into traditional shaving and are unsure where to begin, this shave kit by Bevel is a great pick.  You won’t need to worry about missing any key products as it contains everything to get started.  The box is also nice for gift giving.

6. Merkur 5 Piece Shaving Gift Set

If you are thinking about getting the Merkur 23C (also referred to as the Merkur #180) long handled safety razor – then this may be the perfect shaving kit for you as it comes with all the essentials.

First and foremost, the Merkur 23C is a terrific entry-level double edge safety razor that is among the most popular on the market.  In fact, we go into full details about the Merkur 23C in our in-depth review on the top safety razors.

Here are a few highlights of what we learned about the Merkur 23C:

First and foremost this closed comb double edge safety razor is incredibly popular given that its very similar to its cartridge razor counterparts.  With a similar handle length (4″) along with a lighter weight, its not at all intimidating – especially when compared to razors like the Merkur Futur or Merkur Progress.

If you are an experienced wet shaver and are looking for a new double edge safety razor then the Merkur 23C may leave a bit to be desired – simply due to its weight.

Since it comes in at a much lighter weight that is more inline with cartridge razors and smaller double edge safety razors, it will require a very light amount of pressure to adequately cut the hair follicle.  Instead for pros we recommend checking out some of the other shaving kits that we reviewed.

Another noteworthy component to this shaving kit is the inclusion of a shaving brush.  The grade of the fibers in this brush is ‘pure’ (the lowest grade of badger fibers), yet will still do an incredible job at providing a rich lather time and time again.

The deeper resting shaving bowl that is included with this shaving kit will allow for much more versatility when using either the shaving soap that is included with the kit or any shaving cream that you may decide to purchase down the road.

Also with its chrome plated finishes, you will never have to worry about any rusting, particularly around the edges of the bowl.

The stand that is included does rest nicely on the countertop with a wide opening for the shaving brush side that should accompany just about any brush – whether it’s the chrome matched brush that’s included or even the Parker silvertip brush that we recommended in our review.

Lastly, the glycerin based shaving soap that was included in this kit is acceptable, however, glycerin based soaps tend to dissipate rather quickly with continued use.  Therefore we would recommend picking up an additional soap or cream so you aren’t left empty-handed.

Overall, this is a fine set that is great if you are just taking the plunge into wet shaving.

7. Parker 29L Safety Razor Shave Set

There is no doubt about it – many men (myself included) love a minimalist design.  Living in New York City, every square inch of space is a fight.  Whats more is that with tiny bathrooms, or those you share with a significant other, need to make the most use out of all the area that is available to you.

With such restrictions on space, this is where a shaving kit like the Parker 29L safety razor fill a void.

In its compact cradle like design, you can have both your double edge safety razor along with your shaving brush above the countertop to keep it as hygienically clean as possible.

Parker is a highly respected brand in the wet shaving realm and one that many men hold in the highest regard.  In this shaving kit offered by Parker, the double edge safety razor provided is the long handled Parker 29L.

The 29L is very similar to the Merkur 23C with its longer handle that makes the transition easier for men who are coming from a cartridge or disposable razor background.

With its butterfly opening, you will be able to easily swap out blades when the time comes.

Also with its universal blade set,  you will be able to use a wide variety of razor blades in order to achieve the best results.

Opposite of the 29L you will also find a beautifully crafted Parker shaving brush.  While its not the same Parker silvertip badger brush that we found to be one of the best shaving brushes we reviewed in our recent article, it still holds the same quality you expect from the folks at Parker.

With its oversized head, this shave brush will do a terrific job at picking up the shaving cream or soap when you go to whip up a lather.  Furthermore, when lathering on your face, this shave brush is just a touch stiffer than a true silvertip brush.  However, it will provide an excellent cushion given its wonderfully balanced knot density paired with the delicate backbone found on the loft.

In addition the shave brushes short yet oversized handle, it will provide the ultimate control when applying the shaving cream.

Now if there is one caveat to this entire shaving kit is that it doesn’t include a shaving bowl.  While not a deal breaker for some, its definitely worth mentioning.  Therefore you will want to pick one up during checkout.

Secondly, since this is designed for the longer 29L, if you decide to switch up safety razors years down the road, its cradle may be too long for the razor handle and properly hold it up.

Overall this is an incredibly high class shaving kit that comes in at an affordable price.

Complete Shaving Kits That Include All The Essentials Plus Shaving Creams or Soaps

8. Ultimate Shaving Kit Set by Maison Lambert

This shaving kit by Maison Lambert has it all!  First and foremost we will talk about packaging.  This case comes in a beautiful wooden cigar box that makes this an awesome Father’s Day or Christmas that any man of all ages will cherish.

Now when it comes to the products that are contained within this set – they are equally top notch.

First and foremost we will talk about the double edge safety razor.

This smaller butterfly style double edge safety razor is great for beginners.  Safety razors that come in a shorter frame are much easier to control making the transition from a cartridge background a bit more gentle.  The only exception to this of course would be the Merkur 23C.

With its universal fitting in the safety razor, you will be able to use just about any razor blade with this handle.  However, fortunately Maison Lambert was one step ahead and already included 10 blades within this kit.  These Gillette Wilkinson blades are incredibly sharp and should suffice for many men who are looking to get a close shave.  Given that 10 blades are included, you won’t need to worry about replacement razors for a couple of months.

The mostly (90%) organic shaving soap will also provide an incredible lather for the razor blades to glide effortlessly through.  We couldn’t be more excited about this soap – the ingredient profile is top notch including organic coconut oil, organic cocoa butter, and organic unrefined shea butter to just name a few.

This diverse array of carrier oils will ensure that your skin stays well hydrated after every shave.

Regarding the scent of the soap, Maison Lambert packed in a mixture of cedarwood, lavender, tea tree (which is a natural antiseptic), rosemary, and lime.  Overall when you shave, the scent will be a terrific manly smell that will draw out memories of classic barbershops of yesteryear.

Oh and did we mention that the shave soap also comes packaged with a elegant wooden container?

To whip up your lather, much like many of the other shaving kits, included you will find a resin handled shaving brush made of pure badger hair.  Which should have no problem when working with the shave soap included.

In addition to the shave soap, you will also find an aftershave balm.  While we go on to thoroughly state the difference between aftershave balms vs splashes vs lotions in this post – just know this – aftershave balms are all around the best of the three.

Balms don’t contain alcohol therefore won’t dry out your skin, nor will you have a horrible burning sensation should you accidentally nick yourself with the double edge safety razor when applied.

Lastly, you will also notice a body soap included.  While we exclude it as a factor in this review – it is definitely a nice touch.

If there was a single caveat to this entire shaving kit is that it doesn’t include a stand.  However, should you have the counter space in your bathroom, then we would fully recommend picking up this shaving kit – simply because its a rather complete kit that includes all the basics in order to get a quality shave.

The only kit that surpasses the Maison Lambert kit in providing shaving products for every step in the wet shaving journey is the kit provided by Col. Conk:

9. Viking Revolution Luxury Safety Razor Shaving Kit

Top Award: Best Affordable Safety Razor Kit

Best Features:

  • Contains everything you need to shave with a safety razor
  • Quality products from a trusted grooming company
  • Priced well, making it accessible to all

Best For:

Men who want to unlock the joys of using a traditional safety razor.

Summary:

There are a lot of things to love about this complete safety razor shaving kit by Viking Revolution.  From the details to the quality of the products included, if you have been looking to try a safety razor but unsure where to start, then consider this kit – here’s why:

  • One of the most comprehensive shave kits we reviewed

While true, other shave kits on this list are pretty great, Viking Revolution is one of the few companies that really got it ‘right’ when it comes to the products included in the kit.  Within this shave kit you will get the following:

  • Safety Razor
  • Shave Brush
  • Razor/Brush Countertop Stand
  • 10 Extra Razor Blades (good for about 2 months worth of shaving)
  • Sandalwood Pre Shave Oil
  • Sandalwood Aftershave Balm
  • Shaving Soap
  • Shaving Bowl
  • Presentation/Gift Tin

While we won’t cover each product individually, there are a few noteworthy features that we think are worth expanding further:

Safety Razor: With a similar design to much-beloved Merkur 23C, the safety razor included in this kit has an extra-long handle making it great for those men coming from a cartridge or disposable razor.  While the 10 blades included in this kit is a nice touch, the safety razor does feature a universal blade fitting so you can easily test out other razor blade brands that may perform a bit better on your face.

Shave Brush: Rather than being made from some synthetic fiber that performs poorly, the shaving brush included in this kit is made from real badger hair that will do a great job of generating a thick and rich lather while also providing a gentle exfoliation prior to shaving.

Pre Shave Oil / Aftershave Balm: Made from all-natural ingredients, these pre and post-shave products are specially formulated to reduce irritation and provide a much better shave experience.  Within the products, you will find standout ingredients such as argan kernel oil, sandalwood oil, aloe vera, shea butter, and more.

  • Can purchase products individually for easy refills

Unfortunately one of the drawbacks to buying a shaving kit is that oftentimes the company may not sell the product individually or they are severely overpriced. However, when digging into this review, we found that all the products included in this kit can be purchased individually.  Therefore, if you find that you really love the aftershave balm or the razor blades work really well with your skin, then you can get a refill sent to your house in only a few clicks (available on both Amazon and direct from Viking Revolution).

Other Important Features:

  • Viking Revolution makes a wide range of grooming products for men
  • Purchase is backed with a satisfaction guarantee
  • The Revolution shave soap is available in a variety of scents
  • Razor stand extends the life of your products by allowing them to dry properly (plus it looks pretty sweet on your bathroom countertop)

Pros

  • One of the most comprehensive wet shave kits for men out there 
  • Each product can be purchased individually if you need to refill
  • Included tin makes it a great gift for holidays (i.e. Father’s Day, Christmas, etc.)
  • Aggressively priced compared to others

Cons

  • Some men found the scents to be a bit much

What You Need To Know

This was one of the best shaving kits for men looking to get into wet shaving.  Viking Revolution smartly packed in all the required products so you can easily get a perfect shave at home.

10. Merkur-Razor Futur Shaving Set

In every hobby there are guys (and gals) that like to take things to the next level.  Well at that next level is this Merkur Futur shaving kit.

While its definitely not for the beginner, if you are a guy that is looking to evolve your wet shaving experience in a more sophisticated manner, this kit is definitely worthy of consideration.

The Merkur Futur won our hearts as one of the best double edge safety razors for the experienced wet shaver.

The Merkur Futur, much like the Merkur Progress (known as the Merkgress in the inner wet shaving circles) is an adjustable razor that allows you to fine tune the aggressiveness of the blade.

With its closed comb design, the beautifully crafted dial along the bottom of the razor allows you to increase and decrease the blade exposure.  If you are are looking to have a ‘baby butt smooth’ shave on just a single pass, then you can adjust this razor accordingly.

In its brushed metal matte design, it will be free of hard water marks and will retain its exquisite look for years and likely generations to come.

In short, the Future is in the upper echelon of Merkur razors.

As beautiful as the razor is, we would be remiss if we didn’t also talk about the matching shaving brush, stand, and shaving bowl that are also included with this kit.

The shave brush included also includes the beautiful brushed metal design that will go alongside your Future perfectly.  It’s silvertip design will allow for a rich lather that should provide an incredible cushion time after time again.

The stand itself is of a minimalist design that is compact, but keeps all your essential shaving equipment in order.  The bowl that rests in the cradle at the base is made of textured glass which of course is both a great and potentially hazardous thing.

Of course glass in the bathroom is never optimal, however, having a glass shaving bowl will be hygenic and should retain its appearance with easy and not requiring any sort of polishing with time.

Read the full review here.

Important Considerations When Deciding The Best Shaving Kit For You

When you are considering some of the shaving sets, you will find that they typically come with three or four tools which include the following:

  1. Razor
  2. Shaving brush
  3. Stand
  4. Shaving bowl or scuttle (optional)

What Type of Razor Should You Go With?

As you will see in our reviews of the kits below, the included razor will either be a double edge safety razor and a cartridge razor.  Here’s a quick look at each:

Cartridge Razor

The most popular and widely available option for a shaving kit razor will be the cartridge razor.  

Who Cartridge Razors Are Best Suited For

Cartridge razors tend to perform best for the following types of men:

  • Young men or teenagers
  • Men who favor quick results
  • Men who travel frequently

While their long term costs can add up, cartridge razors are great for beginners or men who just want a quick shave.  Their initial cost is quite modest when compared to a safety razor, electric shaver, or even straight razor.

What Do You Plan on Shaving

Cartridge razors are great for shaving all areas of your body.  While they are primarily designed for face use, they can also be used on your head, chest, arms, legs, groin, underarms, etc.  Their unique design makes it quite hard to accidentally cut yourself with one.

Long Term Costs

The price per refill for a cartridge razor is a significant cost over the course of the year.  Men on average pay about $100 per year on razor refills – this can vary significantly based on your shave habits.

Related: 11 Ways To Cut Your Grooming Expenses Quickly

Trusted Brands

Kits containing razors from these leading brands are considered to be well-received for many:

  • Barbasol
  • Dorco
  • Gillette
  • Harry’s
  • Personna
  • Schick
Travel-Friendly Design

Per the TSA, cartridge razors are okay to be stored in your carry-on when traveling via air (source).  Furthermore, cartridge razor refills are widely available and can be found at drugstores, hotel gift shops, grocery stores, and more.  

Notable Drawbacks

The cartridge razor may cause irritation and razor bumps for some men. 

Fun Fact: The first cartridge razor was invented in the 1960s.

Safety Razor

The safety razor is the perfect tool for those men on a strict budget and wants to have total control over the shaving experience.

Who Safety Razors Are Best Suited For

Safety razors tend to perform best for the following men:

  • Men who enjoy the age-old art of shaving
  • Men who have time in their day to shave
  • Infrequent travelers
  • Men who enjoy testing new products
  • Men who just plan on shaving their face
What Do You Plan On Shaving

Safety razors have limited versatility and are primarily designed for use on your face.  While there are some guides and YouTube videos showing men shaving their head and other areas of their body, that type of shaving is best left to the experts.

Short and Long Term Costs

With refill blades only costing a few cents each, safety razors have very little long term costs.  The only significant cost will be upon the initial purchase of the safety razor itself.

Learning Curve

Unlike a cartridge razor where the blades have been set at an optimal cutting angle of 30 degrees, safety razors are not.  Therefore, you will have to learn how to hold your hand steady at the proper shaving angle in order to get good results.  Therefore, don’t expect to master this tool till you have shaved about 10 times.

Men who are susceptible to severe skin irritation, razor bumps, or ingrown hairs often get a much better shaving experience when shaving with a safety razor.

Versatility in Razor Blades

Safety razors feature a universal fitting that allows them to be tested with different blades.  Therefore you are never ‘locked-in’ to a proprietary system or expensive razor blades.

Notable Drawbacks

Safety razor blades are prohibited by the TSA.  Therefore, you will need to store them in your checked luggage or purchase blades when you arrive at your destination (which may be difficult as their availability is limited).  The learning curve is steep for this razor type.

Fun Fact: The safety razor was popularized by King Camp Gillette when his patent for the device was granted in 1904.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_razor

What Shaving Brush Should You Go With?

If you haven’t used a shaving brush in the past, then just about any shaving brush will make a huge difference in your shaving routine – especially if you are planning on using a quality shaving cream.

Here are the key points when selecting a shave brush:

Fiber type – by and far the most popular fiber found in shaving brushes is going to be badger hair.  Sourced from different parts of the badger, a badger hair brush will come in several different grades. 

A badger hair brush will have the following grades (ranked from poor to high quality):

  • Pure
  • Best
  • Super
  • Silvertip

Many shaving brush companies do try to pass off inferior grade of badger hair (i.e. pure) as silvertip by simply dying the ends of the hair color – so don’t be fooled here.  A true silvertip badger brush will cost between $50 and $300.

Regardless of fiber quality, shaving brushes assist in helping to build up a thicker cushion when using shaving cream.  The additional cushion will allow for a much more comfortable shave.

Fiber length (loft) – is how long the fibers are on the brush.  Longer bristles allow for more shave cream to be carried in the bristles.  A shorter loft allows for greater control when applying shave cream.  If it’s your first shave brush, aim for a moderate length loft.

Handle – like the loft, can be short, medium, or long.  If you have larger hands go with a medium or long handle as it will be easier to grip.  Men with smaller hands should opt for a shorter handle.

Related: Best Shaving Brushes Compared & Reviewed

Razor Stand Keeps Your Countertop Organized & Dry

While many shaving brushes and razors won’t deteriorate when resting on the bathroom counter, a shaving stand does a good job of keeping your shave supplies clean.

A stand is effective at allowing your razor and brush to hang dry and thoroughly get all the moisture out.

As far as the integrity of stands, we recommend metallic stands as they are heavier and less likely to tip over.

When looking for stands, stainless steel is recommended as won’t corrode or rust.

Shave Bowls, The Underrated King of the Shaving Kit

While optional in many shaving kits, shave bowls (also called scuttles), provide you with an area to whip up a rich and silky lather.  Rather than applying shave cream to your brush and then working it into your face, a dedicated shave bowl allows you to whip the perfect consistency prior to application.

Additionally, metal shave bowls retain heat when mixing both the warm water and shave cream.  This is helpful when making additional passes with your razor as the warm shave cream will ensure your whiskers are both pliable and easier to cut.

3 Essentials That Make For the Perfect Shave 

Now when it comes to completing your shaving kit, consider picking up the following products:

1. Pre Shave Oils Make The Shaving Experience Better

We found that pre-shave oils can make a significant difference when it comes to the overall comfort of the shave.  Whether you are using a double edge safety razor or a standard cartridge razor, pre-shave oil assists in keeping both your skin and whiskers well lubricated.

By increasing lubrication the razor blade will be less likely to tug or pull your hair which causes mild discomfort.

Pre shave oil also contains several natural ingredients such as carrier oils, essential oils, and vitamins.  These are often claimed to provide many skincare benefits.

For a recommendation on quality pre shave oils, we review several leading brands in this post.

2. Shaving Cream Shouldn’t Come From A Can

Even the best shaving kit in the world cannot provide a great shave unless it has the right supporting cast members.  Sure pre shave oil is important, but there is no beating a good shaving cream.

When looking for shaving cream, you want to make sure you get one that isn’t loaded with chemicals.  The reason is that many chemical-based creams (those found in many drugstores) often contain alcohol.

The contained alcohol can dry out your skin and may create mild discomfort or ashiness.  Good shaving cream will nourish your skin and generate a richer lather.  This will result in a significantly more comfortable shave.

Therefore what we highly recommend is to go with a shaving cream that isn’t commonly found on store shelves.  Instead, we recommend a boutique shaving cream like Taylor of Old Bond Street – as it was our winner of the best shaving cream that we reviewed.

3. Aftershave Splash Isn’t What You Should Get – Instead Try A Balm

There is this misnomer that an aftershave splash should sting as it’s effectively ‘doing the job’.  I don’t know about you, but the last thing I need at 6 o’clock in the morning after my shave is a wretched stinging sensation – no thanks!

Mostly all of the aftershave splashes and lotions that we found contain some form of alcohol.  While alcohol is a terrific antiseptic to ensure that your pores are fully flushed out when applied, it’s also bad for your skin in making it dry out.

Therefore for any man that is on the fence about an aftershave, we highly recommend aftershave balms.  Balms provide all the great benefits of keeping your pores flushed out like a splash, however, they don’t contain alcohol and use ingredients that will help ensure that your skin stays moisturized throughout the morning hours. Be sure to check our in-depth review of the best aftershave balms in this post.

Wrapping Up What We Learned In Determining The Best Overall Shaving Kit For You

As you can see, when it comes to shaving kits, you have a myriad of options at your disposal.  Whether you are looking to pick up a cartridge based set like the one offered by Edwin Jagger or the very highly rated Merkur 38C you just simply can’t go wrong given the immense amount of value offered by these comprehensive shaving kits.

These two kits were the ones we fell in love with the most given their incredible selection of products that compromised the entire kit.

Whether its for Christmas, Father’s Day, birthdays, or simply just for yourself any man would be lucky to get their hands on one of these kits!

About Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.

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